Norwegian Breakaway Passenger Assault Arrest San Juan – On Wednesday, November 6, 2019, at approximately 0345 in the morning, a Norwegian Cruise Line ship Norwegian Breakaway passenger was attacked by another passenger identified as her cohabitation partner. Jeff Smiley III, 48, was arrested after the FBI says he chased the woman from the casino throughout the ship, ultimately breaking her arm and jaw.
Case# 3:2019mj02201, was filed by Special Agent in Charge Douglas A. Leff, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) San Juan Field Office, who announced the arrest of Jeff Smiley III.
Jeff Smiley III was arrested after the Norwegian Breakaway reached the pier in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was charged with two counts of assault, including assault within the maritime and territorial jurisdiction, and assault resulting in a substantial bodily injury to a spouse or intimate partner.
It was alleged in the complaint Affidavit, that Smiley had been in a relationship with the victim for seven months and they had been living together in Texas since May 2019. Ten hours after the incident, Smiley had his blood alcohol content (BAC) measured at .099.
The following day, agents from the FBI’s Violent Crimes Squad boarded the cruise ship before it reached San Juan with assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard. After they carried out interviews and collected evidence, including reviewing the surveillance footage, they consulted with the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico. Smiley was detained by the agents and held overnight at the pier in Old San Juan after being turned over to Puerto Rico police.
According to the FBI, “On November 6, 2019, Smiley III was arrested by FBI agents of the Violent Crimes (VC) Squad and charged under a complaint with violations of Title 18 United States Code, Section 113(7) (Assaults within maritime and territorial jurisdiction; assault resulting in a substantial bodily injury to a spouse or intimate partner) for events, which took place at sea aboard a Norwegian Cruise Lines vessel.
On November 4, 2019, Smiley III assaulted a female passenger while in international waters. As a result of the assault, which was recorded on surveillance video and involved the victim being pursued through various sections of the cruise ship, the victim suffered a fractured jaw and arm.
On November 5, 2019, VC Squad agents, assisted by the U.S. Coast Guard, boarded the vessel as it was approaching San Juan. After collecting evidence, conducting interviews, and consulting with the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, the subject was detained by the agents and held overnight by Police of Puerto Rico upon arrival at the pier in Old San Juan.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Jenifer Hernandez and is being investigated by the FBI. If found guilty, the subject faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.
Tips and information assist the FBI and its federal, state, and local law enforcement partners. Citizens with information are asked to contact the FBI San Juan Field Office at 787-754”
Jeff Smiley III is being held in Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC), Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.
About Metropolitan Detention Center Guaynabo
The Metropolitan Detention Center, Guaynabo is a United States federal prison facility in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico which holds male and female inmates of all security levels who are awaiting trial or sentencing. It is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the United States Department of Justice.
Guaynabo is a municipality in the northern part of Puerto Rico, located on the northern coast of the island, north of Aguas Buenas, south of Cataño, east of Bayamón, and west of San Juan. Guaynabo is spread over 9 wards and Guaynabo Pueblo. MDC Guaynabo is located next to Fort Buchanan U.S. Army base, and is 6 miles (9.7 km) west of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico.
In 2010, an FBI investigation uncovered a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, heroin, marijuana, Percocet, and Xanax to an inmate at MDC Guaynabo. Several conspirators, led by Juan Rios-Ortiz, also attempted to provide cellular telephones, chargers, and SIM cards to an inmate of MDC. Rios-Ortiz worked for a company that had a contract to supply produce to the prison kitchen. Rios-Ortiz was subsequently convicted of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution of controlled substances, and providing contraband to an inmate of a federal prison.
On February 26, 2013, Osvaldo Albarati, a lieutenant for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, was shot and killed in what is believed to be retaliation for his investigations into cellphone smuggling at MDC Guaynabo. He had just left the facility and was driving home when several gunmen opened fire on his vehicle on the De Diego Expressway near Bayamon. Albarati worked in the investigative branch at the prison, where he was responsible for investigating crime within the prison, including drug smuggling and illegal cellphone use. Authorities have said his killing may have been contracted by powerful drug kingpins being held at the facility in reprisal for recent seizures he spearheaded. The FBI is investigating the killing and no charges have been filed.
In the wake of the destruction of Hurricane Maria in September 2017, some 1200 federal prisoners were transferred from Guaynabo to the Federal Correctional Institution, Yazoo City in Mississippi. Those 1200 were returned to Guaynabo in the first quarter of 2018, along with other prisoners who had been temporarily held in Atlanta, Georgia, Talladega Alabama, and Miami, Florida.
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